Some memories and reflections from my time with the LaRouche movement
I did some organizing, as is the word the movement uses, with the LaRouche movement in the period 2002-04. I was not a member in the formal sense, paying membership fee, coming from a country with no existing organization. But I viewed myself as a part of the movement. I live in Norway and travelled to Stockholm to participate in the ELP’s activity for some periods. Totally, I worked with the movement for about four months.
Being active not more than that, I do not have the same “horror stories” to tell like some people who have joined the movement for years and tell about a terrible cult. And besides, I was active in Sweden, and I have understood that there are some regional differences, so that you do not see the darker sides of the movement so easily in Sweden as in the US. But anyway, I have some memories from the movements and some thoughts that could be worth sharing.
I start with explaining from what angel I will look at the movement/cult. Before 2002 I had followed the LaRouche movement’s publications and was fascinated by their conspiracy theories. I thought that I had found someone who really struggled against a shady elite, a thought that was strengthened by books like the Bush biography and The coming fall of the House of Windsor. But some time after leaving the movement, I found that there were good reasons to suspect that LaRouche and his movement did not have a serious will to fight dark conspiracies (real, imagined or some mix). This is my focus at . Here, I will give some examples of how I and others were told stories about how great impact the movement had, and how feared LaRouche is in what the movement names the oligarchy.
My first experience with LPAC organizing was a couple of weeks in March 2002, after being encouraged to come to Stockholm for some time. This was about half a year after 9-11, and on Friday March 8, we were invited home to one of the party members in the evening. He had great news to tell; Iran’s Rafsanjani had talked about LaRouche in the Friday prayer. What Rafsanjani had said, was that there were some people in the US who said that there were US forces behind 9-11. This was a proof of LaRouche’s growing influence … as if nobody else questioned who were behind 9-11.
I heard another fairy tale on March 16th (or a date close to that) either in 2002 or the next year. That was the ELP’s annual convention, and after the formalities some veteran (I am not positively sure, but I think it was both some Swedes and someone from abroad.) told some funny stories about how the organization had behaved on the streets and intervened at meetings (with i.e. Kissinger) through the years.
Then someone told us about the Dayton negotiations and how the movement had intervened. The LaRouche Movement had got some intelligence report that Bosnia’s president Izetbegovic was about to sign a treaty that would be a real disaster to the country, breaking it into small pieces (as I remember it). Someone from the movement then rushed to the place where Izetbegovic was about to sig, and prevented him from doing that. The LaRouche movement had saved the nation of Bosnia! This was an example of how great impact the movement had on history. Given the mendacity of the movement, I now find this story a little bit doubtful.
On one occasion, we were told that Zhuganov, leader of the Russian Communist party, had said in private that the only thing that was discussed in circles in Russia, was LaRouche (…).
I have read about former members telling about sleep deprivation in the movement. One of the LYM members, who is still in the movement, once told us about his stay in the US and LYM there. He told us, maybe somewhat exaggerated, about being dragged up in the morning, and said that this must be the only political movement where you are considered lazy if you sleep a certain numbers of hours [I do not remember exactly, maybe four or six or something] at night.
I will emphasize that he did not say this in a negative way; my expression was that he used it partially as an example showing how serious and devoted the LYMers were. One day, he and another member of LYM had decided to sleep very little during the night – sleeping is a waste of time when you shall save the planet. The following day we had to leave the book table in the streets of Stockholm and return to the office because they were to tired to do anything serious. This is an isolated example; I did not experience something like this again, but together with what one of the guys told us after visiting the LYM in the US, it confirms the description of an organization where members can risk not getting enough sleep to be able to do something serious.
Erik Strand, July 2011
Note from LarouchePlanet:
Erik Strand also published an English translation of comments and questions he sent by e-mail to the LaRouche Movement in Sweden on Thursday February 25. 2010: LaRouche's lies? . With no replies so far...